Members of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) were deployed in Alexandra township in Gauteng on Tuesday as ramapant looting continued in the province. Picture: Elmond Jiyane/GCIS
Members of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) were deployed in Alexandra township in Gauteng on Tuesday as ramapant looting continued in the province. Picture: Elmond Jiyane/GCIS

SANDF deployment to cost millions

By Tarryn-Leigh Solomons Time of article published Jul 16, 2021

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Tarryn-Leigh Solomons

The deployment of the 25 000 members of the South African Defence Force is effective from July 12 to August 12, at an estimated cost of R615 665 500.

Parliament said in a statement on Friday that the presiding officers, led by Speaker of the National Assembly Thandi Modise and Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces, Amos Masondo, have received correspondence from President Cyril Ramaphosa on the authorisation of the soldiers for service in cooperation with the South African Police Service in the prevention and combating of crime and preservation of law and order within the country.

“The letter of the President will be brought to the attention of the members of parliament through parliament’s official publications,” said the statement.

On Wednesday, Minister of Defence Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula announced that the deployment numbers rose from 2 500 to 25 000.

Mapisa-Nqakula told the joint standing committee on defence that in discussions with Ramaphosa, he wanted 10 000 soldiers to be deployed in the volatile areas. Opposition parties however called for the deployment of 75 000 soldiers, but they eventually agreed on 25 000 members.

The role of the SANDF is to assist the police and law enforcement agencies in restoring calm to a very volatile KwaZulu-Natal.

Western Cape Premier Alan Winde welcomed the announcement that SANDF members will be deployed to the province to curb looting, should it occur.

Winde said: “It is important that the SAPS get as much support as possible during this unprecedented time so that they can respond quickly to incidents and maintain the calm that we have seen to date. This is not a cause for concern and shows proactivity in the response. I have complete faith in the provincial police commissioner, Lt. Gen. Thembisile Patekile, who is in command, and will continue to liaise closely with him and other stakeholders so that we keep the Western Cape safe.”

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